5 Ways to Reduce Your Pets’ Carbon Paw Print

We’ve heard about reducing our carbon footprint—but what about our pets’ paw print?

Here a five ways from The Nature Conservancy to help your pet tread a little lighter:

1. Purchase Eco-Friendly Gifts
Give your furry friends products made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers and with nontoxic ingredients. A hemp collar and matching leash is not only hypoallergenic, but the fabric gets softer with wear and tear. And, so your pet sleeps more soundly, purchase pet beds made from organic cottons and recycled plastic (PET) bottles.

2. Protect Native Wildlife — Keep Your Cat Indoors
Most vets recommend keeping cats indoors because of risks to them such as cars and disease. But, cats are hunters and can also pose a threat on the birds, rabbits and chipmunks in your backyard. So, it’s a win-win situation — kitty stays safe and so does the local wildlife.

3. Feed Them Natural or Organic Pet Foods and Treats
Most conventional pet foods are made with animal bi-products and fillers and are processed heavily. Natural and organic pet foods are minimally processed and contain meats that are raised sustainably. Certified-organic pet foods must meet strict USDA standards that ensure no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives or artificial ingredients go into your pet’s bowl — or belly.

4. Put Number Two in Its Place
When walking your dog, pick up its waste with a biodegradable bag. Putting your dog’s waste in a non-biodegradable leaves it sitting in a landfill, taking up to 100 years to decompose. Biodegradable bags can be purchased at pet stores or online. And, cat owners should steer clear of clumping clay litters. The clay is strip-mined, which is harmful to the environment, and the clay sediment contains carcinogenic silica dust that your cat can ingest.

5. Buy a “Recycled” Pet — Adopt From a Shelter
Nearly 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters in the United States each year. If you’re looking for a new pet, one of the best things you can do is purchase him or her “recycled.”

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